Thursday 31 December 2009

Thursday December 31, 2009-2009 Comes to an End

It was a beautiful morning with snow falling lightly and -7C (19F). I guess my blood must be thickening up to think that's warm! Anyway I went for a long walk around the residential area. Sure glad I have my ice grippers on though!

We took the Christmas tree down this morning. Nancy had taken most of the decorations off last night so all that was left were the decorations on the top, the angel and the lights to take down this morning. Gordon got it out to the curb and we got the pine needles cleaned up off the floor.

We had to go to Farm Boy to pick up some kale for Gordon. He's really gotten into eating raw kale every day to help ward off macular degeneration so we stopped there and then headed for Wakefield, Quebec. Wakefield is a pretty, artsy little town on the shores of the Gatineau River about 62 km ( 37 miles ) or so from Ottawa. It was snowing lightly when we left Ottawa.

The Wakefield sign with the frozen over Gatineau River as a back drop.

There are many ski hills between Ottawa and Wakefield not to mention the Gatineau Parkway which is closed to traffic in the winter but open to cross country skiiers. There are lots of people up here who actually enjoy winter. Unfortunately I've never been one of them although I did cross country ski in a previous lifetime, not well, but I did do it.

Parking area for those wishing to cross country ski on the Gatineau Parkway.

Quebec is a very picturesque province, much more so than the area of Ontario where we live. Unfortunately due to its political problems I wouldn't want to live there although homes are less expensive than in Ottawa.

Canada is supposed to be a bilingual country. In this area you find road and street signs in both official languages, English and French. In Quebec which is part of Canada, you find road and street signs in French. Go figure! Anyway, Canada does bend over backwards for them, it seems although they don't seem to think so. Regardless of their political issues, it's still a beautiful province!

Quebec road sign on the left and Ontario road sign on the right

We had a lovely trip to Wakefield and took photos of the rebuilt covered bridge. The original bridge burned down in 1984. It's been a long time since we've seen the bridge in winter.

Views of the covered bridge and a view of the Gatineau River from the covered bridge.

After that we stopped and had a mediocre lunch at the Alpengruss Restaurant just outside of Wakefield. We have been there for breakfast quite often and it is good but had never been there for lunch before. We probably won't be there again for lunch either.

It was snowing quite heavily so we decided we'd better head for home. The truck did well on the snowy roads and after stopping at Tim Horton's to pick up coffee and doughnuts we got home safely.

A snowy drive home

A barn along the way

Snowy trees

The I-5 was pretty snowy too

When we hit Ottawa there were some people cross country skiing along the Ottawa River Parkway. Here's one of them.

An old family friend passed away yesterday. We don't have funeral details yet. She was 89 years old and had never been married. There also aren't many relatives left. I used to spend three weeks each summer with her and her sister (who was also unmarried and passed away quite a few years ago) when I was a kid and they lived in Cornwall, Ontario. We had some good times then!

Tonight we have no plans to go out and celebrate the end of 2009. We usually don't go out for New Year's Eve anyway so this year isn't any different from other years. I'm working on our Year in Review for posting hopefully tomorrow.

Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday 30 December 2009

Wednesday December 30, 2009-Walk

It was -18C (0F) with a windchill of -27C (-17F) so again no walk this morning.

I needed to go to the library today as I finished my last library book last night. So, I decided to head over to the Carlingwood Mall to do some walking and look around and then stop at the library on the way back. Gordon decided to go as well and drop me at the Mall and go and find a photo. Walking around the mall wasn't much fun and it was too hot.

By the time we got back it had warmed up quite a bit so I went for my walk.

I started a new library book and watched some TV this afternoon.

Let's call it a day!

To read Gordon's blog, click here.

Tuesday 29 December 2009

Tuesday December 29, 2009-Visitors

It was cold and sunny today. The temperature was -17C (1F) but the wind chill made it into the -30C (-22F) range.

The highlight of my day today was a visit from my friend, Laura and her husband, Steve. They are here from the Kitchener-Waterloo, ON area visiting for a few days. Laura and I worked together at State Farm ions ago and have kept in touch. She is one of my loyal blog readers. We had a great time playing catch up.

Unfortunately due to brain damage on my part, I forgot to take a photo. Hopefully they'll be back this summer.

Today's photo was taken by Gordon at Alight at Night at Upper Canada Village on Sunday.

Monday 28 December 2009

Monday December 28, 2009

Not much going on today. The housecleaner came and I went out and picked up some groceries.

This afternoon I read and napped.

How exciting!

Sunday 27 December 2009

Sunday December 27, 2009-Upper Canada Village

I started out for my walk this morning but the snow was too soft to walk on and I kept sinking in to my knees so just took a few photos of the ice storm and came home and shoveled Nancy's walk.

This tree had some damage

Lots of ice on the trees

This afternoon we went out and bought me my own tripod in anticipation of our little road trip late this afternoon.

We headed south to the Morrisburg area (Morrisburg is where I went to high school and where I lived when I was married to husband #1).

This photo of the sunset was taken from the dock in Morrisburg.

While there we were also able to update the roaming on our Verizon cell phones as Waddington, NY is right across the St. Lawrence River so we were able to get the Verizon signal.

Then on to Upper Canada Village for their Alight at Night Show.

Here are some photos of the lights that I took around the village with my camera and my new tripod.

It's about 1 1/2 hours or so to Upper Canada Village from here so we arrived there for the Alight at Night opening at sunset and got back to Kanata shortly after 8 p.m. That's the second time we've been there since it started years ago and boy was it crowded tonight. I guess the temperature being above freezing contributed to that. Last time we were there there weren't nearly as many people but we also nearly froze to death.

Saturday 26 December 2009

Saturday December 26, 2009-Freezing Rain

The freezing rain started during the night and continued all day. The temperature was hovering at the freezing mark but it didn't seem to want to just rain.

We stayed in all day and read. I watched the Dog Show from Philadelphia this afternoon.

My sister and her husband who came from Toronto for Christmas braved the weather to head home.

Leftovers for dinner!

Friday 25 December 2009

Friday December 25, 2009-It's Christmas!

It was a mild, cloudy morning but a beautiful morning for my walk. I walked along the Trans Canada Trail to the cut off at Old Colony Road and then walked back through the residential area. I really like my ice grippers!

We opened gifts this morning. Nancy had gotten us a lot of foodie stuff as she knows that we don't need anything extra to put inside the RV.

I finished up making my cornbread stuffing this afternoon and we headed over to my sister's house around 4 p.m. My nephew, Nick was working today so he arrived just before 6 p.m. We had a lovely dinner as usual and even though we weren't supposed to be getting any gifts, we did! I also brought home my Mother's winter coat which has been in my sister's coat closet since 2002. It's a nice winter coat so I'm getting it cleaned and I'll probably wear at, at least for this winter.

Our niece is quite the accomplished musician. She has three horns now so she bought herself a carrying case so she can carry all three of them.

Her three horns

The whole family

Becky, Nick and Gordon. Becky has a new hairdo!

Betty & Garth

Margie in her new hat

This is the Cottage frame that we made for Nick and Becky. We bought the frame and Gordon made the photos fit in each of the letters. No easy task!

We got home around 10 p.m., tired and stuffed!

Even if I do hate winter, it was so nice to be able to spend time with the whole family! Hope everyone had a great Christmas Day!

Thursday 24 December 2009

Thursday December 24, 2009-Christmas Eve

Today the plan was for the ladies to meet downtown to go for lunch.

Just as I was getting ready I got a phone call from my niece saying her Mom had just been taken to the hospital by ambulance as she had passed out and hit her head on the bathtub.

Plans were canceled and others put in place as the day went on.

After getting the phone call I decided I needed to get out for my walk. It was a beautiful day at 2C (36F).

Betty and Garth came out to Nancy's. Danica took the car over to the hospital so her Dad would have a way to get home as he had gone in the ambulance. Then Becky (Nick's wife) picked Danica and Nick up at the hospital and dropped Danica at home. Betty and I then went and picked Danica up and brought her to Nancy's along with the lasagne and caesar salad they had made. So the potluck that we had planned for my sister's was moved to Nancy's where we're living.

Here we are having finished eating - left to right - Gordon, Me, Betty, Danica-Garth took the photo
This photo has Garth in it and I took the photo

Nancy was going to her cousin's for dinner tonight so she didn't get to partake of our feast.

In the midst of all this, Margie was able to come home. She had been dehydrated and had some kind of bug in her system that was attacking her but she seems ok now so thanks again for all your prayers. There are so much appreciated.

Wednesday 23 December 2009

Wednesday December 23, 2009-Christmas Lights

It was still -20C (-4F) with wind chill this morning but I decided to go for my walk anyway. I was only out about 20 minutes.

Nancy and I went out this morning to pick up some stuff. We were back in time for lunch and then we had a restful afternoon.

We had decided to go out for dinner tonight so Nancy took us to Swiss Chalet for Christmas. After dinner we drove around looking at the Christmas lights.

The photo tonight was taken by Gordon.

Tuesday 22 December 2009

Tuesday December 22, 2009-Just Another Cold Day

It was another cold one this morning with the wind chill -25C (-13F). Needless to say, no walk today again! I'm really getting tired of this.

I spent the afternoon cooking. I made a meat loaf and a gluten free pasta salad for Thursday night at my sister's and cornbread stuffing for Christmas dinner on Friday. I need more chicken broth so it hasn't been baked yet.

We only went out for a couple of hours to pick up a few things then it was back home to bask in the warmth! Warming up tomorrow.

Today's photo is of my new hair do. It's short but it will grow! The only thing that really bothers me is the hairdresser cut it too short over the crown. I have a double crown and when it's short I look like Dennis the Menace!

Monday 21 December 2009

Monday December 21, 2009-Merry Christmas!

Well, we decided to do our Christmas photo so this morning we went out and got Santa hats. My Santa hat includes braids. Then we made our way to Andrew Haydon park, slogged through the snow to find a bench in the middle of a snowbank and here it is.

Prior to that we stopped and got haircuts. I even got a new 'do'! I've had the same hairdo since probably the year 2000 so it was time for a change.

We stopped to pick up a few groceries and then headed for home!

It was bright and sunny today and the temperature wasn't bad but the windchill was brutal! Can you see us shivering in our photo?

Merry Christmas everyone!

To read Gordon's latest updates, click here.

Sunday 20 December 2009

Sunday December 20, 2009-The Elk Farm

This morning I went for my walk. The Trans Canada Trail was packed down so I didn't have to walk knee deep in the snow. It was also fairly nice out (considering the time of year).

After lunch, Gordon and I headed out to the Elk Farm. We were there a couple of weeks ago but wanted to go back when there was snow on the ground. We also hadn't taken any photos of the male elk.

These are farm raised elk and they sell the meat so we went into the store (their garage) and since neither of us have ever eaten elk, we got a small package of ground elk to try.

While there we took some photos. The male elk were very skittish and the largest one hid behind his hay feeder when we came close to the fence with the cameras (as seen below).

The smaller male elk stood a fair distance away from the fence but at least he didn't hide (photo below).

The larger one then took off into the trees. I was able to get this one of him peering between the trees.

The females didn't appear to be as skittish, just curious.

These two even posed for me.

We drove around a bit after that just looking for interesting photo spots. Then it was home to get dinner ready. No elk tonight, just leftovers.

Saturday 19 December 2009

Saturday December 19, 2009-Getting Out in the Cold

Well, I tried walking this morning. It took me longer to get dressed for the cold than the time I was out. There was a north wind that was bone chilling.

However later in the morning it warmed up so Gordon and I headed off to the Arboretum. The parking lot was plowed and the snow was packed down in trails from people walking there so we didn't have to slog through the snowbanks.

Pretty snowy trees in the Arboretum

Kids on toboggans and plastic having fun on the hill

Snow trail

After that we found one road that went part way into the Experimental Farm.

Red barn in the Experimental Farm

Then it was off to Hog's Back. This spot is always so pretty in any season.

Rainbow at Hogs Back Falls

Dressed for the weather


After we got back this afternoon, I helped Nancy wrap her Christmas gifts. I don't often do that anymore so I'm out of practice. I need to learn some new techniques!

Friday 18 December 2009

Friday December 18, 2009-Cold Weather

It was -30C (-22F) this morning. I'm thinking there's not gonna be much walking done this winter! It was a bright sunny day but that usually means it's colder than if it was a cloudy day.

After breakfast, I had some things to get and Gordon was driving so we were away before 10 a.m. We made a few stops and ended up at the Hazeldean Mall where Gordon could have coffee while I shopped. We were home around noon. There's no way I want to have to go to a store this weekend if I can avoid it!

We also stopped at Andrew Haydon Park again for some photos.

Windmill in the snow

A park scene

Mostly bare trees

This afternoon I finished the book I was reading by David Baldacci. I had stopped at the library earlier this week so I have about 6 more to read over the holidays.

Not much else new here, just cold weather and that's getting old really fast!